With our return to campus this semester, Nubian Message was able to talk to a few upperclassmen and graduate students to get some tips and tricks on how to navigate campus and collegiate life as a student of color.

Dani Coan

“Expect growth and accept that change will happen. The person you walk in as isn’t the person you’ll be coming out, and that’s a good thing. Surround yourself with people that help you grow instead of hinder you.”

Fourth year social work student

Danielle Dantzler

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Use the resources you are paying for. Take advantage of the tutorial center and your professors’ office hours.”

Fourth year Biological Engineering and History

Elikem Dodor

“Always go to the events and get a free shirt. Always ask questions in class because you’re paying real money to be here and your classmates won’t think you’re dumb for asking that question.”

Fourth year science, technology and society student

Priyanka Kundeshwar

“I think that the basics are really important, because it’s sort of your foundation! So like sleep, food/exercise, and meds (if applicable). Anything you do past that will crumble if you don’t have those three things solid.”

Fourth year biology student

Christal Walker

“Get up early and treat college like a full time job. Don’t be afraid to go to events alone. If you’re interested in something, most likely you’ll find someone else there alone as well. Explore every inch of campus until you find your place.”

Fourth year industrial and systems engineering student

Lauren Moore

“Don’t overextend yourself trying to get involved. Slowly add things into your schedule until you find a sweet spot. Don’t be afraid to tell people no.Be on the lookout for your circle of people that will support you in college. That group could either make or break your experience and success here. Also don’t be afraid to add or subtract people from that group as you continue through your time here.”

Fourth year chemical engineering student

Kayla Wilmot

“Sign up for TRIO. Get the transloc app. Make sure to look online because the route numbers change every so often. Make sure to look at where your classes are before you put back to back courses. Even if it doesn’t say yet, usually classes with the same discipline are close to each other.”

Fourth year psychology student

Maya Sethuraman

“Don’t do all nighters. I don’t care what class you’re taking. If it’s not done by 2am and you got a class in the morning, it’s not getting done. Just turn it in and sleep. Talk to as many people as you can and try to make a bunch of friends but if they disrespect you, drop them the first time. It’s easier to do that in the first semester than it is when you’ve known and hated them for a year.”

Fourth year mechanical engineering student

Sydney Deloatch

“Find places on campus to do homework and study. It’s really easy to become a hermit crab when you do it in your dorm room all the time”

Fourth year food science student

Adonis Belton

“If you’re not a fan of walking, get the Transloc app and get used to the bus routes on campus. That saved me a lot of time and energy my first couple of years.”

Fourth year industrial and systems engineering student

Kara Reddish

“I would say finding your community is the biggest thing, whether that’s a club or an organization that focuses on students of color. Building those connections really helps build a sense of belonging for yourself on such a large campus. But also branch out and try new things. This might look like taking an art class, going to a dance concert, or attending a powwow. However it looks like for you, your undergraduate experience is the best time in your life to learn about things and have new experiences. So explore where you feel comfortable.”

Higher education administration graduate student

Elliott Holliday

“Your best opportunity for success in college is to surround yourself with people who are driven and want to see you succeed. Your community will make or break your experience in college. As the saying goes ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Physics grad student

Ian Vallejo

“Entering college you are without the supervision you’ve lived most your life with and it can be difficult to know when to rest, stop, play etc. without that. As exciting and freeing it is to be very independent, you have to be intentional in learning how to operate on your own for the rest of your day to day life. The best way to do this is to live life by setting goals and intentions that make working hard worth it. Your scope of college and life is too narrow if it only includes going to school and getting good grades. Having personal goals and interests no matter how small or superficial will aid in keeping you motivated, regulating your energy and focus, and teaching you how to be more attuned to what your mind and body needs and wants. Find one thing you want to learn for yourself, one thing you want to contribute to, and one thing that can be a useful skill in the future. Tackle these things at your own pace and take opportunities as they come if they interest you.”

Fifth year science, technology and society student